You are on page 1of 5


Volume 36, Issue 2, April 2009

Online English edition of the Chinese language journal

Cite this article as: PETROL. EXPLOR. DEVELOP., 2009, 36(2): 216–220. RESEARCH PAPER

Methodology for estimation of CO2 storage capacity in

Shen Pingping1,*, Liao Xinwei2, Liu Qiujie1
1. PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, Beijing 100083, China
2. China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China

Abstract: The CO2 storage in reservoirs is one of the most effective ways of reducing the greenhouse gas emission, which is based on the
mechanisms of structural and stratigraphic trapping, residual gas trapping, dissolution trapping and mineral trapping. The CO2 storage
capacity in oil reservoirs includes theoretical, effective, practical and matched storage capacities. In the estimation of the CO2 storage ca-
pacity in both waterflooding and CO2 flooding oil reservoirs, theoretical and effective storage capacities can be obtained by the material
balance and analogy methods. The theoretical storage capacity represents the physical limit of what the reservoir system can accept. The
effective storage capacity represents a subset of the theoretical capacity and is obtained by applying a range of technical cut-off limits to a
storage capacity assessment which incorporate the cumulative effects of reservoir and fluid parameter. When the material balance method
is used, the amount of CO2 dissolution is not negligible. In using the analogy method, the key is to determine CO2 utilization factor. Ex-
amples show that the method is simple and convenient for the estimation of the CO2 storage capacity in China.

Key words: carbon dioxide; storage; waterflooding; carbon dioxide flooding; dissolution; algorithm

Introduction voirs and the CO2 dissolution in crude oil and water. This pa-
per will introduce the methods in terms of theoretical storage
As a result of excessive dependence on fossil fuels, emis-
capacity and effective storage capacity, thus to provide a tech-
sion of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) from indus-
nical tool to evaluate the CO2 storage potential in reservoirs in
trial production and human activities is increasing. The re-
sulting air pollution and greenhouse effect is seriously threat-
ened to the environment where human survives. One of the 1 CO2 storage mechanism and capacity classifi-
most effective ways to reduce GHG emission is to store CO2 cation in reservoirs
in geologic bodies, such as coalbed, deep saline aquifers and
Fig. 1 shows that CO2 storage in reservoirs[3-5] is realized
oil and gas reservoirs. Comparing with coalbed and deep sa-
line aquifers, oil reservoir is much better explored and devel-
oped, with clearer characteristics and more data available.
Moreover, CO2 storage in oil reservoirs can not only reduce
the GHG emission, but also improve the oil recovery. There-
fore, CO2 storage in reservoirs is the most economical and
reliable technology at present. To apply it, the CO2 storage
potential must be evaluated first to determine the maximum
theoretical storage capacity and effective storage capacity of
CO2 in reservoirs.
Predecessors have studied the calculation methods (mainly
for depleted reservoir) for CO2 storage capacity in reservoirs
, and have made evaluation on the study area. The authors
make a systematical study on the calculation method for CO2
storage capacity after calibrating existing method and consid-
ering the practical waterflooding operations in Chinese reser- Fig. 1 Mechanism of CO2 storage in reservoir

Received date: 30 December 2008; Revised date: 10 January 2009

* Corresponding author. E-mail:
Foundation item: Supported by the 973 Project (2006CB705800) and the Ministry of Education New Century Talents Support Program.
Copyright © 2009, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina. Published by Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.
Shen Pingping et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2009, 36(2): 216–220

through structural space and bond space, dissolution trapping theoretical storage capacity, which considers CO2 dissolution,
and mineral trapping, of which first two are the most impor- according to the characteristics of waterflooding reservoir
tant storage modes. Therefore, it is the key for calculating development in China and CO2 storage mechanism.
theoretical storage capacity of CO2 in reservoirs to determine
2.1.1 Calculation method of theoretical storage capacity
the geometrical space providing for CO2 storage. With CO2
for waterflooding reservoirs
storage duration increases, the dissolution of CO2 in crude oil
and water is not negligible. It should be considered in calcula- The method assumes reservoir pressure to build up the
tion. original reservoir pressure when CO2 is injected to the reser-
Based on literatures [3-5], CO2 storage potential in geologic voir, i.e., the free space left by the produced oil and gas is
bodies includes four levels theoretical, effective, practical and wholly occupied by CO2, and CO2 may dissolve into crude oil
matched storage capacities. Theoretical storage capacity repre- and water during injection. CO2 storage capacity can be ex-
sents the physical limit of what the geological system can accept, pressed by the following equation.
and it constitutes the entire resource pyramid. Effective storage
capacity considers the factors technically, such as property of
Mt >ER AhI (1  S wi )  Viw  Vpw  Cws u
AhI Swi  Viw  Vpw  Cos 1  ER AhI 1  Sw º¼
reservoir, seal ability, storage depth, pressure systems and pore
volume; it is a subset of theoretical storage capacity. Practical
storage capacity is a subset of effective storage capacity by con- (1)
sidering technical, legal and regulatory, infrastructural and eco- Where
nomic conditions. Matched storage capacity is a subset of prac- Mt——theoretical storage capacity of CO2 in reservoir, 106 t;
tical storage capacity by considering CO2 sources, injectivity ȡr——density of CO2 under reservoir condition, kg/m3;
and supply. Depending on evaluation purposes and storage ER——the oil recovery factor, f; A——reservoir area, m2;
modes, different calculation methods are required in order to h——reservoir thickness, m; ij——reservoir porosity, f;
estimate potential CO2 storage capacity. Generally, practical Swi——irreducible water saturation, f; Viw——injected water
storage capacity and matched storage capacity should be calcu- volume, m3; Vpw——produced water volume from reservoir,
lated only for a given reservoir and relevant conditions. The key m3; Cws——dissolution coefficient of CO2 in water, f;
is to determine theoretical storage capacity and effective storage Cos——dissolution coefficient of CO2 in crude oil, f.
capacity when CO2 storage sites in reservoirs are screened ini- In Eq. 1, CO2 theoretical storage capacity consists of three
tially. This paper will discuss the calculations methods for these parts, i.e. the part stored by structural space (including bond
two capacities. space), the part dissolved in water and the part dissolved in
crude oil.
2 Calculation methods of CO2 storage capacity in
reservoirs 2.1.2 Calculation method of theoretical storage capacity
for co2 flooding reservoir
The calculation method of CO2 storage capacity in reservoir
depends on the storage mechanism, and also the reservoir CO2-EOR technology is used in the USA more than other
status. There are two types of reservoirs in China for CO2 countries. US experience shows that about 40% of injected
storage, namely post-waterflooding reservoir and CO2 flood- CO2 is produced. Based on this, Bachu S et al[7] proposed the
ing reservoir (for reservoir that is hard to produce by water- calculations methods of CO2 theoretical storage capacity be-
flooding). The following sections will discuss the calculation fore and after CO2 breakthrough when CO2 is used for EOR.
methods and matters of theoretical and effective storage ca- In this respect, the authors establish the equation taking into
pacities for these reservoirs. account the injected water, produced water and CO2 dissolu-
tion in reservoir.
2.1 Calculation method of theoretical storage capacity
Before CO2 breakthrough:
Current calculation methods of CO2 theoretical storage ca- Ur
pacity and effective storage capacity in reservoirs are estab- Mt >ERb AhI (1  S wi )  Viw  Vpw  Cws u
lished on the basis of material balance equation with the as-
sumption of all geometrical space of produced oil and gas can AhI Swi  Viw  Vpw  Cos 1  ERb AhI 1  Swi º¼
be used for CO2 storage. The relevant researchers from US- (2)
DOE, European Commission and the Carbon Sequestration After CO2 breakthrough
Leadership Forum (CSLF) have further investigated the cal- Ur
culation methods for CO2 theoretical storage capacity in res- Mt >(0.4ERb  0.6ERh ) AhI (1  S wi )  Viw 
ervoir, which were established on the basis of an assumption
that reservoirs are not in contact with an aquifer, or that the Vpw  Cws AhI S w  Viw  Vpw  Cos 1 
0.4 ERb  0.6 ERh AhI 1  S wi º¼
reservoir is not floodout during secondary and tertiary oil re-
coveries. In China, most oilfields are developed by water-
flooding. The paper proposes the calculation methods for CO2 Where
Shen Pingping et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2009, 36(2): 216–220

ERb——oil recovery before CO2 breakthrough, f; Table 1 CO2 utilization coefficients used in overseas CO2 pro-
ERh——oil recovery when certain CO2 is injected, f. jects[12]
In the above equations, the key is to determine the oil re- CO2 Utilization coeffi-
Project Ref.
covery factor. Generally, it can be achieved by the reservoir cient/(t·m-3)
numerical simulation or empirical formula [11-15]. Weyburn 0.9435
2.2 Calculation method of effective storage capacity Willard-Wasson 1.0693-1.3838
The effective storage capacity considers such factors as SAROC in Main CO2
reservoir property, sealing ability, storage depth, pressure injection 1984
systems and pore volume based on theoretical storage capacity, SACROC pilot 1.7612-4.9062
namely it will be impacted by the fluid mobility, gravity sepa- Stalkup,
Little Creek 4.7804
ration reservoir heterogeneity and underground water body etc. 1984
Therefore, it cannot reach to the ideal theoretical storage ca- Permian, North Sea 1.8870
pacity. Stevens,
Aver. Value of Miscible 2.1134
The effective storage capacity is given by following equa- 1999
Aver. Value of Immis- Stevens,
tion by taking into account buoyancy, gravity override, mobil- 3.5161
cible 1999
ity ratio, reservoir heterogeneity, water saturation and strength
of the underground water body etc, based on theoretical stor- referring to projects conducted or the numerical simulation
age capacity calculation method. method. Table 1 shows CO2 utilization coefficients [12] used in
Me=Ce Mt=Cm Cb Ch Cw Ca Mt (4) major international CO2 projects.
Where It can be seen in Table 1 that, the CO2 utilization coefficient
Me——effective storage capacity of CO2 in reservoir, 106 t; vary by areas, ranging from 0.9-5.0 t/m3. It is proposed in
Ce——effective storage coefficient affected by all factors, f; literature [12] that CO2 utilization coefficients are divided into
Cm——effective storage coefficient affected by mobility, f; three grades: maximum, moderate and minimum, with their
Cb——effective storage coefficient affected by buoyancy, f; values setting at 5.0 t/m3, 3.0 t/m3 and 1.0 t/m3 respectively.
Ch——effective storage coefficient affected by reservoir het- If the produced oil because of CO2 injection is unknown in
erogeneity, f; Cw——effective storage coefficient affected by Eq. (5), following Eq. (6) may be used.
water saturation, f; Ca——effective storage coefficient af- NP=ERe No C (6)
fected by underground water body, f. Where
The determination of above coefficients will be generally ERe——Recovery increment amplitude after CO2 injection,
achieved by numerical simulation or empirical methods[7]. f; No——OOIP, 109 m3; C——contact coefficient of CO2 and
Eq.4 is suitable for calculating CO2 effective storage capacity crude oil, f, being 0.75 normally[6].
for both waterflooding reservoir and CO2 flooding reservoir. EOR after CO2 injection can be calculated with analogy,
reservoir numerical simulation or empirical formula. Stevens
2.3 Calculation method of CO2 storage capacity based on [6]
investigated the data on CO2 -EOR in seven Permian basins
analogy method
and defined the empirical correlation between crude gravity
The analogy method is used to calculate CO2 storage capac- and recovery increment amplitude after CO2. In literature [12],
ity based on the experiences of CO2 flooding EOR demonstra- recovery increment amplitude after CO2 injection is divided
tion projects on sites and by analogy analysis of the reservoir into three grades: maximum, moderate and minimum, with
parameters and development status. The method is mainly their values setting at 0.20, 0.12 and 0.05 respectively.
used for the CO2 storage calculation for CO2 flooding EOR
3 Case calculations
reservoirs. Many countries and organizations including USA
and EU have conducted a lot of activities regarding CO2-EOR There are 21 block in an oilfield in China that can be used
and obtained valuable experiences. On this basis, the CO2 for CO2 storage, with current OOIP of 119 212×104 t, ultimate
utilization coefficient is also introduced to calculate CO2 stor- oil recovery factor of 0.2, average formation pressure of 22.0
age capacity by: MPa, average temperature of 93ć, CO2 and crude oil densi-
Me 106 N p RCO2 (5) ties of 750.0 kg/m3 and 856.0 kg/m3 respectively under reser-
voir conditions, crude oil volume factor being 1.17, and the
Where dissolution factor of CO2 in crude oil and water being 0.35
Np——produced oil because of CO2 injection, m3; and 0.05 respectively.
RCO2 ——CO2 utilization coefficient, i.e., the ratio of injected
CO2 to. produced oil, t/m3. 3.1 Calculation of theoretical storage capacity
How to determine CO2 utilization coefficient and incre- According to Eq.1, theoretical storage capacity of 24 186 ×
mental oil is the key to calculate CO2 storage capacity by the 104 t is stored in the free space, the theoretical storage capacity
analogy method. The unitization coefficient can be gained by of water dissolution is 8 062 × 104 t, the theoretical storage
Shen Pingping et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2009, 36(2): 216–220

capacity of crude oil dissolution is 44 632 × 104 t, therefore, Table 2 Calculation of effective storage capacity by referring to
total theoretical storage capacity of CO2 is 76 880 × 104 t. The foreign literatures
calculation shows that the CO2 dissolution in crude oil takes OOIP/ Max. Stor./ Mid. Stor./ Min. Stor./
higher percentage. 104 t 104 t 104 t 104 t
A 7 332 5 499 1 980 275
3.2 Calculation of effective storage capacity B 341 256 92 13
C 724 543 195 27
According to Eq.4, effective storage coefficients of all the D 9 808 7 356 2 648 368
factors should be obtained by reservoir numerical simulation. E 19 558 14 669 5 281 733
If as defined in literature [1], 0.25 is taken as the effective F 567 425 153 21
G 4 549 3 412 1 228 171
storage coefficient affected by all factors, the effective storage H 2 227 1 670 601 84
capacity is 19 200 × 104 t. I 106 80 29 4
J 4 211 3 158 1 137 158
3.3 Calculation by analogy method K 140 105 38 5
L 7 292 5 469 1 969 273
Two manners are used to determine CO2 utilization coeffi- M 13 999 10 499 3 780 525
cient in the analogy method. One takes value referring to for- N 12 306 9 230 3 322 461
eign literatures, and another one uses numerical simulation O 1 105 829 298 41
P 3 177 2 383 858 119
results of typical blocks in this region. Q 9 807 7 355 2 648 368
R 1 502 1 127 405 56
3.3.1 Determination of CO2 storage capacity by referring S 5 838 4 379 1 576 219
to foreign literatures T 12 602 9 452 3 402 473
U 2 021 1 516 546 76
As stated above, CO2 utilization coefficient can be divided Total 119 212 89 412 32 186 4 470
into three grades: maximum, moderate and minimum, with
their values setting at 5.0 t/m3, 3.0 t/m3 and 1.0 t/m3 respec- Table 3 Calculation of effective storage capacity based on res-
tively, EOR after CO2 injection is divided into three grades: ervoir evaluation
maximum, moderate and minimum, with values setting at Effective storage potential for CO2 Effective storage potential for CO2
0.20, 0.12 and 0.05 respectively. Eq. 5 and 6 are used to immiscible flooding miscible flooding
calculate CO2 storage capacity (Table 2). Total storage ca- OOIP/ Eff. Stor. OOIP/ Eff.
Block EOR/% Block EOR/%
104 t /104 t 104 t Stor./104 t
pacity for such three grades is 89 412×104 t, 32 186 ×104 t
A 7 332 8.0 701 L 7 292 12.0 1046
and 4 470×104 t respectively. CO2 storage capacity for the B 341 7.0 29 M 13 999 12.0 2008
maximum grade is equal to theoretical storage capacity ob- C 724 8.0 69 N 12 306 14.0 2 059
tained in above calculation, and the effective storage capac- D 9 808 9.0 1055 O 1105 15.0 198
E 19 558 7.0 1 636 P 3 177 12.0 457
ity ranges between the moderate grade and the minimum F 567 7.0 47 Q 9 807 12.0 1 406
grade. G 4 549 8.0 435 R 1 502 12.0 215
H 2 227 9.0 240 S 5 838 12.0 837
3.3.2 Determination of storage capacity based on reser- I 106 8.0 10 T 12 602 12.0 1 907
voir cases J 4 211 8.0 403 U 2 021 9.0 217
K 140 8.0 13
CO2 utilization coefficient is determined by reservoir nu-
merical simulation of a typical block in this oilfield, and EOR most Chinese oilfields adopt the development by waterflood-
is obtained by potential prediction model of CO2 flooding. ing. A systematic study is made on calculation method of
There are 21 blocks assessed by case analysis, with results theoretical storage and effective storage capacities of CO2 in
shown in Table 3. It is confirmed that eleven blocks (A to K) reservoir, providing reference for CO2 storage potential
are suitable for CO2 immiscible flooding to enhance oil re- evaluation for oilfields in China.
covery, with EOR ranging from 7.0% to 9.0%; ten blocks (L Calculation method of CO2 storage capacity in reservoir can
to U) are suitable for CO2 miscible flooding to enhance oil be determined mainly by the material balance and analogy
recovery, with EOR ranging from 9.0% to 15.0%. Also, based methods, for which the key parameters are to be obtained by
on the CO2 utilization coefficient obtained by numerical reservoir numerical simulation or empirical methods.
stimulation for block H (1.5935 t/m3), total CO2 storage ca- When the material balance method is used, the amount of
pacity is defined as 14 988×104 t by the calculation of Eq.5 CO2 dissolute in oil has much percentage, which can not be
and 6. The value is equal to the effective storage capacity ob- neglected. When the analogy method is used, CO2 utilization
tained above (19 220×104 t). coefficient is a key parameter. The results prove that the
analogy method can obtain more credible storage potential of
4 Conclusions and recognitions CO2 when CO2 utilization coefficient is determined through
The paper presents that calculation of CO2 storage capacity case analysis.
should consider reservoir space and must take into account the
fluid dissolution in reservoir, according to characteristics that References
Shen Pingping et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2009, 36(2): 216–220

[1] Bachu S, Shaw J. Evaluation of the CO2 sequestration capacity CO2 storage capacity in CO2 EOR incorporating the effect of
in Alberta’s oil and gas reservoirs at depletion and the effect of underlying aquifers. SPE 89340, 2004.
underlying aquifers. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technol- [8] Bond L P L. Applications of carbon dioxide in enhanced oil
ogy, 2003, 42(9): 51-61. recovery. Energy Conversion and Management, 2003, 33(2):
[2] Bachu S, Stewart S. Geological sequestration of anthropogenic 579-586.
carbon dioxide in the Western Canada sedimentary basin: [9] Kovseek A R. Screening criteria for CO2 storage in oil reser-
Suitability analysis. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technol- voirs. Petroleum Science and Technology, 2003, 20
ogy, 2002, 41(2): 32-40. (7-8):841-866.
[3] Bradshaw J, Bachu S, Bonijoly D, et al. A taskforce for review [10] Winter E M, Dergman P D. Availability of depleted oi1 and
and development of standards with regards to storage capacity gas reservoirs for disposal of carbon dioxide in the United
measurement. States. Energy Conversion and Management, 2001, 34(6):1177-1187.
city_Estimation_Version_2.pdf, 2005 [11] Paul G W, Lake L W, Gould T L. A simplified predictive
[4] Bradshaw J, Bachu S, Bonijoly D, et al. Estimation of CO2 model for CO2 miscible flooding. SPE 13238, 1984.
storage capacity in geological media. [12] Hendriks C, Graus W, van Bergen F. Global carbon dioxide storage potential and costs. Utrecht: Ecofys,2004.
acityMeasurementTaskForce.pdf, 2007. [13] ZHOU Yingjie. Measures to improve water drive recovery ef-
[5] Bradshaw J, Bachu S, Bonijoly D, et al. Comparison between ficiency of offshore Chengdao Oilfield. Petroleum Exploration
methodologies recommended for estimation of CO2 storage and Development, 2007, 34(4): 465-469.
capacity in geological media. [14] ZHONG Dakang, ZHU Xiaomin, WU Shenghe. Characteris-
/documents/PhaseIIIReportStorageCapacityEstimationTaskFo tics and controlling factors of high capacity channels of reser-
rce0408.pdf, 2008. voirs at high water cut stage: A case from Block Hu 12 of
[6] Stevens S H, Kuuskraa V A, Taber J J. Sequestration of CO2 Huzhuangji Oilfield. Petroleum Exploration and Development,
in depleted oil and gas fields: Barriers to overcome in imple- 2007, 34(2): 207-211,245.
mentation of CO2 capture and storage (disused oil and gas [15] YANG Siyu, HU Yongle, JANG Manqi, et al. Methodology
fields). USA: IEA, 1999. for determining productivity of new oilfields. Petroleum Ex-
[7] Bachu S, Shaw J, Robert M. Estimation of oil recovery and ploration and Development, 2008, 35(6): 750-754.